Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ego & Pride

God is working on me, chiseling away at my ego & pride, showing me that I need to forgive myself for past choices & behavior and let go of ego & pride.  Well, easier said then done, but I'm working on it.  And identifying the issues helps me deal with them.  

This ego & pride thing comes to play in caring for my mother.  I get so frustrated with her when she doesn't know things I think she should or doesn't remember something I want her to remember.  Lately though I have noticed this voice saying, "Take a breath, she isn't doing this to make you miserable, it isn't about YOU!" I don't always listen, but at least I am now hearing the voice.  Here's an example, Mom was looking in the refrigerator for a bottle of soda and I was telling her where in the refrigerator it was located and she still couldn't find it, I walked in to the kitchen ready to explode and instead I took a breath and reached in the frige and handed her the bottle without yelling.   No ones feelings were hurt and I didn't feel bad afterwards.  Amazing what taking a breath can do.  Keep working on me, I am not finished yet!  

I have to help mom get dressed, put her make-up on & do her hair.  It was not easy for either of us to admit it needed to happen and we both went kicking & screaming down this road.  She didn't want to admit she needed my help & neither did I.  But, we both admitted it and for the most part we are doing ok in this area.  It's not perfect and we have our moments when it feels like I am the mother and she is the 5yr old fighting to wear something else, but we deal with it on a daily basis.  We are going into winter now and she still wants to wear sandals, white sandals. This coming from the woman that taught me no white after Labor Day!  But is it really that big a deal? No it is not, so she wears white sandals with black pants.....

I am rethinking my jewelry business, not giving up, but feel like I need to go in a different direction.  I'm trying to figure out what that direction is, but winter is the perfect time for research and development. Having my own business is not easy, if I don't work, nothing gets done! I know that isn't that profound, but I love designing & creating and do not like working on the administrative side. But I am learning to get it done anyway.

Merry Christmas!  Don't forget the Reason for the Season. My wish for you is time. Time to spend with your family, time to rest, relax, and reflect on all the blessings in your life.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I bit the bullet and joined a web host. Now, with the help of a friend I am building a website for my jewelry business.  All of this tech stuff is blowing my mind.  I can surf the web, tweet, post and even load a pic to all of my social media sites, but building a website is like learning a foreign language. I have not been very good at that in the past, so I am hoping that age will help me do better this time.  Know that I must analyze everything to the nth degree, Building this website isgoing to take me awhile.  If yo have done this, any advice you can give would be great.

Speaking of my jewelry business, I recently completed and delivered my first custom order for wedding jewelry. I will post pics on my business Facebook page(The Jewelry by Nan Shop) on. Presently I am working on jewelry for 2 upcoming shows.  November 16th is the Handmade Holiday Showcase and Dcember 6th is the holiday Hop Pop Up Show.

In another part of my world, dealing with mom is like dealing with a child, some days good and some days not so good.  If you take care of an aging parent also, you will understand and identify with that statement.  Dementia is a very worthy opponent and I battle against it daily.  On some days my mom seems lucid and present; others I have no idea who she is.  I took her out to lunch and to a movie with a friend of mine and her grandchildren, 2 days later she had no recollection. She has lived in her house for 50+ years and does not remember where to put dishes.  I am learning to let go, pray and stop trying to treat her like my mom.  I don't mean not loving and caring for my mom, I mean to not expect her to know things my mom knew, because she doesn't.  A good portion of her memories didn't happen. She will tell you she's been to Africa and that she met Princess Di, but neither of those things happened.  It's sad some days and really funny other days.  

My life is blessed, and I thank God everyday for saving my life. And because of that I reach out to help others.  If this is helping you because you are in a similar situation, then my job is just starting.  Hang in there, God is not done with us yet.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another Look

I have had a rough week, dealing with my past & present.  Mom is doing great physically, not so much mentally.  But she has leveled off as far as dementia goes and that is amazing.  Now that doesn't mean life is all rainbows and roses, it is just not getting worse.  

My past coming up to bite me is related to some financial woes but I will not discuss that here. Let's just say it takes a while to clean up.  I am blessed and need to be reminded of that on a regular basis because I have a quick forgetter.  I can get so wrapped up in ME!! It is crazy how easily I can go back to old behaviors, mostly ego and pride, but wanting to be in control is my biggest and most offensive.  When I start acting like all that matters is how this situation or moment effects me, Look out New Jersey!  

On a lighter note, my mom had a moment this evening where I had to remind her that I was her daughter. I know that is not funny, and believe me I'm not laughing, but it is the oddest thing to look at your parent and realize they are talking to you about you like you are not who you are.  Follow that?  I looked at her and said,"I am Nan" and she laughed. Then she said, "Oh yea".  I don't really think she didn't know who I was, just forgot who she was talking to, but it's scary.  Is that going to happen one day, that she suddenly doesn't know who I am?  

It's bad enough, she has completely different likes and dislikes, now I have to worry about her knowing who I am??? Sometimes I don't think I am strong enough for all of this and then I remember I am not alone. I have a Higher Power that is awesome! And I have a great support system.  So, last week when I thought the world was coming to an end because of those financial woes I mentioned, I did the next right thing and went to an AA meeting.  And the next day, I went to another meeting.  I know some people will not understand, but having a support group to listen and understand and remind you that life could be a lot worse, that my friend is priceless.  

My business is moving along, I would like to spend more time on it, but that day will come.  I will be at a bizarre Novemer 1st at Clintonville Women's Club Bazaar and November 16 at Handmade Holiday Showcase.

If you understand any of this, then I hope it helps you realize you are not alone.  See you soon...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Welcome To my view!

Welcome to my life. I am Nan and I am going to share my life as I see it. I don't look through "rose colored glasses", but I try to live like I have them on.  I am a 58yo, twice divorced mother of 1, caretaker of mother who is 88yo and has dementia.  My daughter lives in another state, so phone calls to her can be weepy, serious and/or funny, depending on the day.  I am also a 4yr clean & sober alcoholic that has gracefully been relieved of the obsession of the mind and body.  Now doesn't all that sound like fun?  I live with my mom, in the house I grew up in, after being gone for about 30+ years I moved back in about 7 yrs ago.  That was when I gave my house back to the bank, my car was repossessed and I was a hot mess.  For 20 plus years I worked in the insurance industry, but we parted ways, mutually-sort of, the same time I moved in with mom.  With that as a background, can't you just imagine how much fun we are having on a daily basis?

Four years later, we'll skip the crap for now, I am taking care of my mom (a Full-time job!), running my jewelry business (love designing & making jewelry-it is therapy for me), working part-time at an arts and crafts store, being an Independent Beauty Consultant, and an active member of my church and my sobriety program.  Oh, and we have a dog & a cat.  Sound like fun?  Well, fun may be the wrong word, how about interesting?  Yes, it is definitely interesting.

This journey through life is up and down and back and forth, fortunately I have a good group of friends and family for support and my savior, Jesus Christ, on my team.  Now, don't stop reading because I admitted I am a Christian.  I am not doing this to convert anyone, although I wouldn't be adverse to helping someone believe, but that is not my intention for this blog.

My intention is to share what happens in the day in the life of a caregiver and small business owner.

My mom was a business woman for 35 yrs, in management for the state of Ohio, and my mentor for many years.  Now, she is dependent on me to get her through each day.  She is not bedridden or unable to get out of the home, she just can't remember if she took her meds or "had a bm today", her words.  It is not easy to take care of someone that is no longer the person you have known all your life.  I am mourning the loss of my mom, while still taking care of her.

I am sure there are others out there that are doing the same thing, it seems to be the theme these days with my generation, taking care of aging parents.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want anyone else to take care of her on a regular basis, she's my mom, I'm just saying it isn't easy. Let me know how you handle being a caregiver and maybe we can help each other.

That's all for today, so I'll leave you with this thought, If we can't laugh at ourselves and our situation, then we will cry or find a way to escape that is unhealthy...  see ya here soon....